Former Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to head up children’s research institute
Former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop, is set to chair the West Australian based Telethon Kids Institute come 20 August 2019.
Ms Bishop’s appointment to the role was announced at the Institute’s AGM last week by outgoing chair, Mr John Langoulant AO, who held the role for 14 years in a voluntary capacity.
Mr Langoulant said he was delighted to be relinquishing the role to someone of Ms Bishop’s calibre, saying “(Ms Bishop) has always been a wonderful supporter of Telethon Kids as our local member and has advocated on our behalf on many issues, including helping us to secure funding for our building and for research initiatives.”
He said that Ms Bishops ‘extensive networks, legal mind, political insights and genuine interest in child health research’ will be an enormous asset to the Institute and the people it serves.
Research initiatives of note to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector include but are not limited to work on understanding temperament and the role this plays in cognitive and academic outcomes, examining housing conditions in disadvantaged communities, and how these impact on early childhood outcomes, and work promoting the value of early childhood education, both in Australia and overseas.
Speaking about the appointment, Ms Bishop said she was keen to contribute to the non profit sector, saying Telethon Kids was an organisation close to her heart.
“I have met with the researchers at Telethon Kids many times over many years and am always inspired by their commitment to making a real difference for children and families who are facing adversity, through disease, disability or disadvantage,” she said.
“We can be very proud and confident that medical research in Western Australia is world class, and as Chair I will strive to support Telethon Kids having an even greater impact in our community.”
As Mr Langoulant prepares to exit from his role, Telethon Kids Director, Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM paid tribute to his extended service as Chair.
“John has made an outstanding contribution to Telethon Kids, overseeing our growth and success during some challenging times and our transition into our fantastic new facility,” Professor Carapetis said.
“He has ensured the highest standards of governance that has seen us earn the confidence and trust of funders and our community. Most importantly, he has driven a culture that puts children and families at the heart of all decisions, and we will greatly miss his wisdom and warmth.”
Professor Carapetis noted that Mr Langoulant leaves Telethon Kids in ‘a strong position’, handing over to a ‘superb successor’.
“How can we not be excited by the prospect of having Julie Bishop as our new Chair? Julie brings extraordinary energy and capacity to Telethon Kids and a real passion to make a difference. Her leadership and guidance will be invaluable to all of us at Telethon Kids, as we embark on even more ambitious plans for the future, tackling some of the really big issues affecting child health and development.” Professor Carapetis said.
For more information about the work of the Institute, please see here.